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Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London
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The sequel if you please! Another gap too long for my liking but read on, you'll understand why.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London
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One London stroll, if one can call it that, which lasted 6 hours. Yes 6 hours.?!My eyes were weak, my spine creaked, feet were swelled, back it ached... It was glorious!! One of the sights that I took in was (i)The Monument to The Great Fire of London, all 311 stairs worth of climbing recently refurbished and opened a month or so ago. Now I must say vertigo gets the better of me and I did think twice about spiralling up the flights but I was a Londoner being a proud tourist in my own city for the day.

Union Jack, View from The Fire of London Monument,
Monument, London
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Now when I move about London from A to E, sometimes diverting via C and D, the sights are secondary to me. The backdrop of the city is just that, it serves a purpose to house the public, move the public and entertain the public. I also think it's the case of when you want to get somewhere there is no time to look and stare therefore it's head down and full steam ahead. This, I wager, is the case for most city folk - workers and Londoners alike.

I never 'tourist it up'.

Underpass, South Bank, London
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So I did.

Last week.

From South Bank to Bankside to Borough and back to South Bank. Across the water to Embankment then down to (ii)Monument ending up east side at The Tower of London and St Katharine's Docks. Burr-you-tee-full.

London Eye Capsule, South Bank, London
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It put a whole new perspective on London for me, being a tourist that is. My camera was out all day, I mingled with the foreign crowds, took in the sights and waited for Tower Bridge to open. I must add that last week was the first time I saw it open in all my 36 years of visting and living in London...!? Bloody marvellous it was to see the road lift, even though it would have been more exciting if I were six or thereabouts.

Tower Bridge Fully Drawn, Tower Hill, London
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So, here's my thought of the day.

I recommend that if you live or work in London become a tourist for one day in the month, every month. It makes you appreciate what amazing tourist spots we have and also puts you around lovely people throughout the day. Even if the tourists do swear, shout down the phone or slag people off you don't understand what they are saying and it sounds so much nicer in Japanese, Thai or French...n'est pas??

(i) I must thank the cashier in The Monument who gave student passes to the two girls in front of me. As I was a tourist I thought i'd be cheeky to these London folk and asked for a student concession too (£2 instead of £3). She shook her head, smiled and gave me a tut then asked for £2!! Fantastic! It was only a pound saving but the view up top seemed even sweeter somehow. Thank you! You also get a certificate when you come back down pronouncing 'You have climb the 311 stairs to the top"

(ii) I did pass by - on the way to Monument - one of my favourite buildings in London. The old Daily Express offices on Fleet Street. I wanted to take pictures but the streets were busy with activity. A Sunday should prove more fruitful and images will appear on a future post.


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